I do so much killing in videogames that sometimes not killing is actually a more exciting option. Generally speaking, in games like Dishonored or Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I'll opt for a non-lethal path if one is available. I don't recall such opportunities coming up all that terribly often in Fallout 3 or Fallout: New Vegas, but Todd Howard of Bethesda told The Guardian that a life of (relative) non-violence will be an option in Fallout 4.
Howard said Bethesda is working to make Fallout 4 "feel as good in your hands as the best first-person shooters." But he added that the studio is "doing a better job than we've ever done" of creating a world that lets players do what they want—or not, as the case may be.
"You can avoid [killing] a lot," he said. "I can't tell you that you can play the whole game without violence—that's not necessarily a goal of ours—but we want to support different play styles as much as we can."
I don't expect a post-nuclear role-playing game to be entirely pacifistic, unless you're prepared to run away from literally everything and subsist on soup made from radioactive grass. But the prospect of Fallout 4 putting a greater focus on emergent role-playing opportunities is really appealing.
Fallout 4 will be out on November 10.